RAVENNA, OH- James L. Coll Gymnasium was the scene for a Wednesday evening rivalry game between the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders and host Ravenna Ravens. The Rough Riders were looking to avenge a 49-33 loss on their home floor to the Ravens last season.
Kent got off to a quick start scoring the first six points on a Jack Smith three ball and Anthony Helton three point play. After Dean Baker scored the first points for Ravenna, the Rough Riders rolled off another seven straight to push the lead out to 13-2 before a C.J. Ross three ball for Ravenna stopped the bleeding. Kent closed the quarter scoring five of the last seven points to take an 18-7 lead after one.
The Ravens were able to bounce back and score the first seven points of quarter two that extended a 9-0 run going back to the end of the first quarter. After a Rough Rider timeout they went on a 10-0 run that started and ended with a Jack Smith three ball pushing the lead out to 28-14 with 3:40 to play in the half. The teams played even up to close the half as the Rough Riders took a 36-21 lead into halftime. Smith led the way with 9 points for Kent in the first half.
The third quarter started with Jaden Dennison scoring the first bucket for Kent giving them their biggest lead of the game at 38-21. Ravenna would respond with six straight points going 4/4 from the free throw line in that stretch cutting it to an 11 point deficit. Two plays later Rough Riders 6'6 big man Ryan Slocum threw down a big dunk sending the Kent student section into a frenzy! That gave the Rough Riders a big spark as they closed the quarter strong on a 6-0 run taking a commanding 51-30 lead.
It appeared that Roosevelt had the game in hand, but the Ravens were not going down without a fight. Ravenna would go on a 9-0 run cutting the Kent lead to 7 with just under three minutes to play. Kent was able to withstand scoring six straight to put the game on ice as they took home the 61-49 win.
Tyrel Ellington was big off the bench for the Rough Riders in the sixth man role scoring 13 points and bringing big time energy to the team. Kent coach Curtis Black talked about Ellington coming off the bench this season after starting a year ago.
"Last year Ty was a first team guy, you know I think people might find it odd that he comes off the bench for us," said Black. "With our depth we can start a game off at a nice pace and bring him in off the bench...it brings that second punch that teams can't really match."
The Rough Riders move to 6-3 on the season and will travel to Cuyahoga Falls on 1/5/24. Ravenna drops to 3-6 as they look to bounce back at Southeast on Friday night.
Tyrel Ellington: 13 pts
Jack Smith: 9 pts, 3 three pointers
Anthony Helton: 7 pts, 8 reb
Gavin Peeps: 7 pts, 7 reb
Ryan Slocum: 5 pts, 4 reb, 2 blk
Dylan Carrozzi: 12 pts
C.J. Ross: 10 pts, 4 reb
Nigel Williams: 8 pts, 4 reb